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August 26, 2014 DVD and Blu-ray: 'Belle' with Gugu Mbatha-Raw

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From award-winning British filmmaker Amma Asante comes the extraordinary period drama film Belle. Produced by Damian Jones from a script by Misan Sagay, the film is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate, mix-raced daughter of a British captain and an African slave. It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson, Academy Award nominee Miranda Richardson, Academy Award nominee Emily Watson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, Sarah Gadon and Tom Felton.

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Set in 18th century England, Dido Elizabeth Belle is an English woman of mixed race who has been raised in privilege by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice, and his wife. At a young age she had been brought to the Kenwood House estate in London by her Royal Navy father Captain Sir John Lindsay after her mother Maria Belle, an African slave he had an affair with while overseas, had passed away. Despite her father never feeling ashamed, Lady Mansfield initially feared a scandal having a dark-skinned child in the home. Dido ended up growing up alongside her cousin Elizabeth -- who had been abandoned by her father, but was denied a proper social standing because of her skin color.

Living in a society full of biases, Dido is an outsider who feels she does not fit in anywhere. When Dido falls in love with John Davinier, a young idealist lawyer who aspires to create positive change, she finds herself caught between the world of privilege and a future of hope and acceptance. With her true happiness on the line, she struggles to convince those around her -- and the society in which she lives -- to overcome their biases and accept her for who she is, not the color of her skin. Meanwhile, Lord Mansfield considers John to be a match beneath Dido’s status, compared to other more privileged suitors. At the same time, John tries to sway Lord Mansfield’s mind on an upcoming crucial court case regarding the Zong massacre -- where over a hundred slaves were thrown overboard like ‘cargo’ into the sea and drowned -- that could have a profound influence on slavery and the abolition movement.

Cast:

  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Dido Elizabeth Belle
  • Tom Wilkinson as William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield
  • Miranda Richardson as Lady Ashford
  • Penelope Wilton as Lady Mary Murray
  • Sam Reid as John Davinier
  • Matthew Goode as Captain Sir John Lindsay
  • Emily Watson as Lady Mansfield
  • Sarah Gadon as Lady Elizabeth Murray
  • Tom Felton as James Ashford
  • Alex Jennings as Lord Ashford
  • James Norton as Oliver Ashford
  • James Northcote as Mr. Vaughan
  • Bethan Mary-James as Mabel

Blu-ray Special Features:

  • Belle: The Story
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw Breakout Role
  • The Power of Belle
  • From Painting to Screen
  • The History Behind the Painting
  • Stills Gallery

Exclusives:

  • Walmart - Belle DVD.

Best Prices:

Blu-ray (includes Digital Copy) - $19.99 at Amazon.com, Best Buy, $23.79 at Walmart.com

Walmart exclusive DVD - $22.93

Stores:

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